By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA
The government shutdown has taken over the media cycle this week, and its impacts will be felt by more people and programs as it continues – including some YWCA programs, which rely on critical funding from agencies that are currently closed. Below, we’re sharing the latest on the shutdown and who’s affected, and what to watch for in the upcoming week as the stand-off continues.
Rememeber: YWCA hotlines and shelters will remain open. Search for a YWCA near you to find out more.
1. Parks and panda cams aren’t the only ones affected by a government shutdown. The real effects, especially if the shutdown continues for much longer, will be felt by the poor, by children and our economy.
Government shutdown: Forget the parks. Children, parents, spouses hit, by Matt Pearce, The Los Angeles Times
“‘When are you all gonna open?,’ Dora Jones, who runs a Head Start program in Talladega, Ala., told NPR, recalling phone calls from parents of the 770 children her program serves. ‘Why did you close? Why didn’t you all let us know before now that you were gonna close? What day will you open back? When can we bring our children back? What are we supposed to do with our children in the meantime?’”
2. Participants in clinical trials at the National Institute of Health (NIH), who may be facing serious cancer diagnoses and who include children, must wait for their trials or are being denied completely as 75% of NIH workers have been furloughed (although some funding is slowly being restored).
Government shutdown forces clinical trial patients to wait, by Vall Willingham, CNN
“There was hope for the Auburn, California, mom — a clinical trial that’s testing a new drug called Cabozantinib that’s been approved to fight other cancers. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health had gathered Langbehn’s medical records; they were set to evaluate her status on Monday to make an official enrollment decision, she says.
Then the government shut down.”
3. Women, who will benefit from provisions in the Affordable Care Act, have been a central part of the shutdown debate – as they have in four of the previous 17 government shutdowns. This time, it’s the issue of preventive reproductive care.
HER-story of Shutdown and Women’s Health, by Beth Scott, AAUW
“I shouldn’t be surprised. It was just last Saturday that the House of Representatives passed legislation that would deny women access to preventive health care if their employers had a religious or moral objection. (See how your representative voted.) Surprisingly, there was no provision to cut off men’s preventive care. So prostate exams are completely OK, but potentially life-saving cancer screenings for women need an employer’s permission? Again, I say, really?”
4. What we’re not wondering is which side will come out “looking better” as we head towards the October 17 debt ceiling debate.
Boehner still seeking health-care negotiations: ‘This isn’t some damn game’, by Lori Montgomery, Debbi Wilgoren and Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post
“‘This isn’t some damn game,’ Boehner said loudly, repeating his position that the Democratic-controlled Senate should negotiate changes in the Affordable Care Act, widely known as Obamacare, as part of passing a funding bill. ‘All we want is to sit down and have a discussion.’
President Obama sought to correct the official’s comment when he spoke to reporters Friday during a visit with Vice President Biden to Taylor Gourmet, a deli near the White House, for an impromptu lunch.”
5. What’s the likelihood that the federal government will soon reopen? Democrats in the House of Representatives are exploring options to force a vote and reopen the government without conditions, but it’s unlikely to work. We could face another week of shutdown, bringing us even closer to the next debt fight and, in the meantime, leaving programs like nutrition assistance and Head Start hoping for stopgap funding.
U.S. shutdown seen dragging on as debt ceiling fight nears, by Mark Felsenthal and Richard Cowan, The Star Online
“House Republicans on Thursday began lining up 11 more bills to fund targeted programs. They are to fund nutrition programs for low-income women and their children, a program to secure nuclear weapons and non-proliferation, food and drug safety, intelligence-gathering, border patrols, American Indian and Alaska Native health and education programs, weather monitoring, Head Start school programs for the poor and other aid for schools that rely heavily on federal assistance.”
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